Fashion Week is the most important week in the Fashion industry’s calendar. For those who don’t know it happens twice each year, one for the Spring/Summer collections, and one for the Autumn/Winter collections, and all the major fashion capitals of the world host them; New York, Paris, Milan and London, to name a few. The A/W 2014 Paris fashion week is currently upon us, and whether you consider yourself fashion conscious or not, avoiding hearing about it will be pretty much impossible.
So, why should we celebrate or even care that this event is taking place? As students, or even just normal people most of us cannot justify, or even dream of purchasing the undeniably extremely expensive garments that are forayed up and down the catwalks, so how is this designer malarkey even relevant to us? The official London Fashion Week schedule boasted 77 shows, crammed into just five days. Hundreds of journalists, fashion buyers, designers and bloggers will attend, taking copious notes and Instagram snaps…#PFW. These influential figures in the fashion world will quickly identify trend patterns and micro trends, and these will immediately start cropping up all over the web. These trends will also eventually disseminate down into the high street; the buyers and designers for brands we know and love, such as Topshop, will undoubtedly be heavily inspired and influenced by what they were lucky enough to see this week. We all buy clothes, and whether or not you know or care who Henry Holland is, the high street purchases you make this autumn will have been influenced in some way, big or small, by this week’s shows.
Indeed, buying clothes is something we Brits are apparently very good at; according to figures recently released by the British Fashion Council, the UK Fashion industry is currently worth a staggering £26billion. Now that’s a number you cant argue with, and it’s even got our politicians going; Boris Johnson’s opinion on these latest figures, and we quote – “they are clear evidence of the hugely important contribution that fashion makes to our economy”, even commending the “dazzling creativity of our designers.” Boris, as ever, makes an excellent point: numbers aside, this week is a wonderful display of the crème de la crème of the modern creative talent in Britain. Months of ideas, creativity, originality and hard work go into creating a collection that designers proudly display to the hungry eyes of the fash-pack. In our digital age the super-exclusive nature of fashion week is becoming somewhat a thing of the past. Over half the shows this week are available to watch via a live online stream, so you can get a taste for the front row without having to wear anything more chic than your pyjamas, if you so wish. The thriving blog culture today also means that the inside scoop, and backstage buzz is available essentially as it happens, meaning that today you don’t have to receive a VIP invitation to be on the inside.
Understandably for some, Fashion is simply not, and never will be your thing, but whether you’re interested or not, one would be hard pressed to argue it’s not an important, even integral part of British culture today. For some this period inspires excitement, for many others disinterest but it unavoidably it works its way into our wardrobes, like it or not. ‘Who cares?’, we all should.